How To Prepare Your Plants Ready For Winter And Keep Them Alive

As the days get shorter and the nights get colder, our succulent plants are getting ready for winter. In general, most succulents will experience a period of dormancy during the colder months and will not produce any new growth until the weather warms up again in spring. In this article, I’ll be giving you some tips on getting plants ready for winter.

In autumn, we should prepare our plants for their period of hibernation by cutting back on the water and just giving them a general tidy up. However, it’s not the best time to repot them as this is better done in spring.

Most succulents grown outdoors should be fine to remain outside during autumn but if you live in an area that gets a number of nighttime or early morning frosts each year, then you’ll want to condition your plants to bring them either indoors or put them into a greenhouse for the winter.

If you have succulents growing in the ground and want to leave them there, then consider getting some kind of frost protective covering so that you can cover your plants when the temperatures plummet on those frosty nights and early mornings.

Plants grown in pots are much easier to protect over the colder months. In autumn, you can start to condition these plants for life inside or in the greenhouse by removing them from a very exposed full-sun position to one that is more sheltered, like on a verandah or patio that still gets plenty of light. This way your plants can get used to lower light conditions gradually.

Autumn Care For Hoyas

Hoyas are tropical plants and they do prefer warmer temperatures. Therefore, they shouldn’t be exposed to frosts as this will most likely kill them. To prepare your Hoya plants ready for winter, give them a little tidy up before bringing them indoors or putting them into the greenhouse if you live in the colder areas of Australia.

Hoyas left out over winter shouldn’t need any extra water if there’s enough rainfall. It really all depends on where you live.

(Refer to the product description on The Breathing Leaf website for each species of Hoya for positioning and temperatures as to whether they need to be sheltered indoors through harsher weather.)

As a general rule of thumb, only water your hoyas when the top 2 or 3 inches of soil are dry. And, always makes sure that any excess water can quickly drain away.

If you’re likely to expect some frosty nights, move your plants either undercover or put them into the greenhouse as we head towards the end of autumn. You can even put your plants under the canopy of a large tree if you have one growing in your garden. Some people wrap them in plastic bubble wrap to keep the heat in.

Autumn Care For Rhipsalis

Rhipsalis or mistletoe cacti are also tropical plants that naturally live in the understory of tropical forests. These plants are most commonly grown as pot plants and are happy to live outside during summer as long as they’re kept out of direct sunlight.

However, when the weather starts to cool down in autumn, it’s best to condition your plants to be moved indoors or into a greenhouse. Unless you live in the northern, sub-tropical or tropical areas.

As the weather starts to get colder, your Rhipsalis will be preparing to enter a period of dormancy. Therefore, in autumn, it’s best to cut back on watering and not give your plant any extra fertiliser.

Wait until the soil is completely dry before adding any more water.

Autumn Care For Ceropegias

Your Ceropegia should continue to grow into the early part of autumn. Especially if your plant is in a nice warm spot where it gets plenty of light. But, this growth will gradually slow down once the temperature starts to drop and your plant will get ready to go dormant.

Around mid to late autumn, get ready to bring your plant indoors if your outside temperatures are set to drop below freezing. This can be as simple as moving your plant into a more protected spot on a verandah or patio or moving it inside or into a greenhouse.

In autumn, you want to start slowing down on the amount of water you give your Ceropegia and only ever water when the soil is completely dry. There’s also no need to fertilise your plant again until early spring.

Autumn Care For Dischidia

Dischidia is another popular succulent that grows naturally in tropical areas of Asia and the tip of Queensland. It prefers temperatures that are above 12 degrees Celsius and should be brought indoors or into a greenhouse in the colder southern parts of Australia.

Autumn is a great time to give your Dischidia a general tidy up by removing any yellow or dying leaves. Also, check your plant for pests before getting ready to bring it indoors or putting it into a more sheltered spot.

Remember to slow down on the amount of water you give your Dischidia and wait until the soil is completely dry before you give it a drink.

Autumn is the Best Time To Get Your Plants Ready For Winter

Autumn is a great time to get our succulent getting indoor plants ready for winter by giving them a general tidy-up and removing any dead or dying foliage.

It’s also the time to remember that when growing succulents, it’s much better to underwater them than to try and kill them with kindness by giving them too much water. And, it goes without saying, that succulents should never be allowed to sit in water.

In the northern parts of the country, it’s fine to keep your succulents outdoors. However, if you live in the cooler southern states, you might want to consider moving your plants into a more sheltered spot or even bringing them inside so that they’re safe from frosts.

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  1. Joan

    Helen great article it was very informative, I’m looking forward to the next one.

  2. Helen

    Thanks for the feedback Joan


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